A Design Workshop for
the East Garrison at Fort Ord
Monterey County, CA
The Mayors Institute on City Design: West
University ol California, Berkeley
National Endowment for the Arts
Leadership Initiative for Federal Property Conversion
A Design Workshop for
the East Garrison at Fort Ord
Monterey County, CA
The Mayors Institute on City Design: West
University of California, Berkeley
National Endowment for the Arts
Leadership Initiative for Federal Property Conversion
This project is supported in part by a cooperative agreement
from the National Endowment for the Arts.
•ast Garrison History
PROCESS TO DATE
ayors Institute on City Design: West
ommunity Goal Setting
Design Charrette Workshop
ational Panel Analysis
owards a Master Plan for the East Garrison
(ESIGN CHARRETTE SCHEMES
iNALYSIS BY THE NATIONAL PANEL
■OWARDS A MASTER PLAN FOR THE EAST GARRISON
INDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Mayors Institute on City Design, sponsored
by the National Endowment for the Arts, brings
to community attention the power of city design
and the idea that the design of places can be an
important tool in local decision making.
The Mayors Institute became part of the East
Garrison planning process when local activists
brought the project to the attention of the
Endowment's Leadership Initiative. The Mayors
Institute on City Design: West at the University
of California, Berkeley, assembled a team of faculty
members, prominent design professionals, NEA
Design leaders and students who worked with
public agencies and private groups interested in
developing a fresh approach to the East Garrisons
unresolved planning process.
The project was first considered at the MICD: W conference
in Berkeley, California, in November 1996. Edith Johnsen,
then Chair of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors,
presented the East Garrison as a case study to the panel of
mayors, resource persons and University of California faculty
members. At the end of the Institute, Supervisor Johnsen
suggested that the NEA support further design exploration
of East Garrison planning issues.
< .This report reflects the effort to practice
a profound democratic principle:
that we, as a people,
can govern ourselves
and make wise decisions in the common interest.
Together, a group of people came to the East Garrison to work with
each other and the land itself to meet our complex needs, hopes,
dreams, and visions.
We set three goals:
1 To learn how we might shape the land in ways
that would serve the whole community.
2 To find new democratic practices as an example
for this region, the state and the nation.
3 To discover how to share a long happy future
of stewardship with the land itself.
The land, Ft. Ord's East Garrison, is a dramatic site with an important
history. Ft. Ord as a whole has been the focus of an extraordinary-
planning effort during the past six years. Already significant parts of
its 28,000 acres have been integrated into the community-most as part
of the state university system and as a 17,000 acre Bureau of Land
Management environmental conservation area.The East Garrison's
approximately 750 acres provide a different opportunity and challenge
for the community design process.
The National Endowment for the Arts which sponsors both the Federal
Property Conversion Leadership Initiative and the Mayors Institute on
City Design collaborated with UC Berkeley to bring design teams to the
East Garrison. The Mayors Institute on City Design: West, held in
Berkeley in November, 1996, began to explore the site and was looking
toward developing an exploratory forum that would bring all interested
sectors of the community together in a collaborative process to consider
a win/win shared future for the East Garrison. Part of that process was
to bring outstanding designers to the site itself to join the community
in exploring the future development of the East Garrison.
The Fort Ord Reuse Authority, Monterey County leadership, representatives
from groups interested in the East Garrison site, and planners and architects
from UC Berkeley and elsewhere used the opportunity presented by these
workshops to look carefully at the site itself; and then began to discuss ideas
and to develop a vision leading to a set of shared principles for the future
development of the East Garrison. The following report summarizes the
process and results of the site analysis, two weekend workshops, and reviews,
and public presentations.
Director of Design
National Endowment for the Arts
Understanding the site itself, both its physical form and its
community meaning, is the critical component in planning
the East Garrison's future. That understanding was approached
through guided site walks and facilitated workshops, and
informed the work of the three University of California,
Berkeley, design teams during the design workshops as well as a
national panel of design professionals who reviewed the schemes
and proposed next steps. In the community participation process
continuing to date, computer modeling of a composite scheme
furthered the community's understanding of the site and
provided an additional tool for assessing development and design
Six main principles emerged from analysis of the site.
The land, with its sharply differentiated plateau,
sloping meadows and clusters of trees should be
the first consideration in organizing structures
and activities on the site.
The pattern of construction on the site is derived
directly from the army's requirements for
mobilizing and training recruits. Proper treatment
of the buildings and their immediate surroundings
should include elements that would make the
history of this remarkable place clear.
The way the site has been used offers suggestions
for its future. The great parade grounds were in fact
camp grounds, occupied at full mobilization by rows
and rows of tents rigorously planned and organized
by parallel roads but undulating across the land and
dodging existing oaks.
^% All uses and development of the site whether
through minimal investment or through major
transformation should in some way reflect on
the history and character of the place and the
significance of its transformation from swords
to plowshares. These uses can include education,
culture, and the simple pleasures of being in a
^ Whatever future the East Garrison has is intimately
tied to the arrangements and provisions made for
the rest of Fort Ord and is dependent on the
resources, both financial and natural, that will be
required for Fort Ord's transformation.
^% Site development should be compact so that uses
are centered around areas already developed. This
approach to development will consume less land
for new construction, promote the reuse of existing
buildings, and limit the cost for new infrastructure.
The national panel confirmed that the configuration of the land and the
history of the site should guide decisions about the use of the site. Panel
members directed discussion to future uses and proposed an organized
structure for stewardship of the land.
The discussion resulted in a set of recommendations for the
future development of the East Garrison site.
• Recognize that the site and its history should set the context in which
decisions are made about the site.
• Create an organization charged with developing a shared vision for the
East Garrison and with preserving its fundamental qualities.
• Work with professional designers, planners and other consultants to
explore these ideas further using the three design schemes as a
Elaborate and give greater detail to the findings of this report.
Initiate a survey to identify historically valuable elements at the
East Garrison and to analyze their reuse potential.
Review issues of access and transportation planning, including the
road proposed by the California Department of Transportation.
Assess the need for improved access to the East Garrison.
Critically review the current proposal for a new road through the
East Garrison that connects Salinas to the Monterey Peninsula.
• Prepare an economic analysis of the uses currently identified for the East
Garrison. Identify funding mechanisms for those uses.
Throughout the process, public officials and representatives of the
various groups involved in the East Garrison plans communicated
with each other about the site in the context framed by the design teams
and the architects of the national panel. The charrettes, reviews, and
presentations became an opportunity to show that the site, its character
and qualities, can indeed provide a framework for future development
that is clearly understandable by the community. Most important,
such a framework allows the site itself to impose limits on development
and suggest opportunities for future place making.
East Garrison. 1 94 1 .Rows of Tents Filled
both of the Parade Grounds
Base Reuse Planning
Urban design has played a minimal role in the military base reuse
planning process throughout the history of base closures in the
United States. The reuse of these bases is often dictated by former
military use and the requirement for economic success. Many
former bases promote similar uses such as education facilities,
airports, industrial parks and housing.
The design process has usually played only a small role in the
redevelopment process. When urban design has been included in the
conversion planning process, its role has been as a tool for defining
existing conditions. Very rarely has design been used as an agent for
understanding, promoting, and implementing land use decisions.
In addition to the lack of attention to design in the reuse plans, the
reuse planning process has often not succeeded in helping communities
achieve consensus on the economic aspects of the plan. The past decade
of reuse planning demonstrates that communities have a difficult time
reaching an agreement about how a base will be reused.
Fort Ord Reuse Planning
Fort Ord was designated for closure in 1 99 1 . Six jurisdictions are
involved in the planning process and the economic success of the
reuse plan will clearly affect the future of the smaller communities.
Reuse plans have been developed, modified and developed again.
Design has played only a very small part in developing the process
or defining the outcomes.
In 1990 with the first rumors of closure, former Congressman Leon
Panetta established the Fort Ord Community Task Force charged with
developing a consensus on the future of Fort Ord. In June 1992, the
Task Force released its strategy for the reuse of Fort Ord. Over 180
recommendations were made. One of the recommendations of the Task
Force report was that the new campus of the California State University
system be located at Fort Ord.
The Task Force, however, was only an advisory body. An official planning
body, the Fort Ord Reuse Group was established in October 1992 to
develop a reuse plan based on the work of the Task Force. In December
1992, the Reuse Group published a preliminary reuse plan which relied
heavily on the Task Force's earlier strategy document. During 1993 the
Reuse Group continued working towards developing a reuse plan.
Top: courtesy of California Stale
University, Monterey Bay
Bottom: photo by Ron Thomas
There was still, however, no formal reuse planning body which could
make decisions about the base. In December of 1993, the State of
California was forced to assist the jurisdictions establish a formal reuse
authority. This planning body, still at work today, was formed through
special legislation passed in May of 1994 and is known as the Fort Ord
Reuse Authority (FORA). FORA maintains a governing board of 13
members, including three members of the Monterey County Board of
Supervisors, two city council members each from the Cities of Seaside
and Marina and one city council member from the cities of Carmel,
Del Rey Oaks, Sand City, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Salinas.
Reaching consensus about the site's future is the key step required by
legislation for the Army to convey the property to FORA. Five stake-
holders have been recognized as part of the effort to obtain agreement on
reuse of the base. These five are the Monterey Peninsula Community
College's Public Safety Training program, a coalition of artists (Arts
Habitat), an equestrian group (Monterey Equestrian Group), a group of
Native Americans (Akicita Luta Intertribal Society), and Monterey
County itself. The Public Safety Training Program has applied for a
Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC), a mechanism for transferring federal
property to another government agency or an educational institution.
Although an application for this conveyance had already been made at
the time of the Mayors Institute, the county wanted all stakeholders to
achieve consensus about site use before it supported the PBC.
East Garrison History
i* W DEAD IU9M, <)«-
FORT ORO. CALIFORNIA, FRIDAY. FEBRUARYS, 1952
30th Overflow Moves To E. Garrisc
1948 Ghost City
Fort Ord dates back to 1917 when the United States government bought
several ranches and land of the City of Monterey Tract No. I, altogether
15,325 acres. The area was then called the Gigling Reservation after a
German family living there. The army used the area primarily for maneuvers
and field artillery target practice. The first significant work on the reservation
began in 1938. With an $800,000 appropriation from the Works Progress
Administration, a large camp was built about a mile east of the Gigling
railroad spur. Eventually the WPA received more than $6,000,000
for the construction work which became the center of what was then called
Camp Ord, now the East Garrison. The main garrison was called Fort
Clayton; and in December 1 940, two camps were combined to form a new
entity named Fort Ord.
During January 1940, almost a year before the United States entered World War
II, maneuvers were held at Fort Ord involving approximately 10,000 troops.
These maneuvers included the 3rd Infantry which remained to train at Camp
Ord, later the East Garrison. Many other units were organized and trained
at the East Garrison immediately before and during World War II, including
the 48th, 49th, and 57th Field Artillery Battalions and the 757th Tank Battalion.
In 1941 temporary buildings were constructed and these units traded their tent
accommodations at East Garrison for the temporary buildings. After the war,
Fort Ord housed a Troop Separation Center but in December, 1945 it closed;
and the East Garrison area was abandoned.
Facts on East Garrison History
,/ John R. McCulchon,
California Slate University,
Photos courtesy of California
State University, Mo>:
In 1952, the East Garrison was rehabilitated for the approximately 1000 soldiers
of the 6230th Reception Center whose main task was to process and assign
new soldiers. The quarters of the 6230th consisted of winterized tents. This
was the first time since the end of World War II that a significant number of
soldiers had used the East Garrison. For the next thirty-five years the East
Garrison remained an active part of Fort Ord. The 7th Light Infantry Division
made its home at the East Garrison and the area was used for training the reserve
components of the National Guard. Fort Ord was listed for closure in 1991.
Fort Ord, once home to one of thirteen major division-sized troop installations in the
United States, encompasses approximately 28,000 acres of Monterey County, California.
The base is located adjacent to the Monterey Bay, a national marine sanctuary.
From the Bay, the base stretches inland along the edge of the Salinas River Valley.
Seventy-three percent of the facility (20,194 acres) is unincorporated land within
Monterey County, fifteen percent (4,122 acres) is within the city limits of Seaside,
and twelve percent (3,361 acres) is within the city limits of Marina.Three other cities
abut the base: Monterey, Del Rey Oaks and Sand City.
Approximately 6,250 acres of the site are developed. The base's 18.5
million square feet of facilities include over 1 5,000 housing units, an
airstrip, a hospital, six schools, a golf course, baseball diamonds,
recreational facilities and a stadium. Over seventy percent of the base
is undeveloped, including 1 ,400 acres of prime beach front real estate.
The East Garrison area (the so-called East Garrison polygon) includes
about 750 acres at the northeast corner of Fort Ord adjacent to the
edge of the Salinas River Valley. It is separated from the main
part of Fort Ord by vast stretches of open space, most covered with
oak trees and now under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land
Management.There are a number of small buildings at the East
Garrison but much of it is also open space. Two large areas referred
to as parade grounds were once filled with tents used by soldiers
mobilizing for war.
Swales and Ridge:
Oaks and Glades
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The East Garrison at Fort Ord is perched on the edge of a plateau that
forms an escarpment along the lower Salinas River Valley. Despite the
East Garrison's long history as a place for military training, many of the
plateau's natural conditions remain. Few landscapes exist next to
urbanized areas in California that encompass such a large piece of land
so densely covered with oaks. Steep ravines cut through the plateau's
escarpment, connecting it to the Salinas River Valley. On the plateau the
ravines continue in the form of gentle swales. Frequently lined and
sometimes covered with oak groves, these swales are important features
of the East Garrison's landscape.
The East Garrison is a 750 acre parcel on the eastern edge of this
plateau. A person looking out over the edge of the escarpment stands 150
feet above the regular lines of the flat agricultural patterns that cover the
Salinas River Valley. The river runs on the near side of the valley, only
250 feet away from the escarpment. The escarpment, measuring almost
seven miles in length, separates the garrison from the broad valley below.
Directly across the valley is Fremont Peak, a nose-shaped mountain of
the Gabilan Range.
The undeveloped land to the north and west separates the garrison from
the rest of Fort Ord and from the urbanized areas of the Monterey
Peninsula. The steep ravines at the East Garrison are generally without
surface water. Two ravines frame the large promontory of the garrison.
Both ravines carry roads; one is narrow and winding, the other is wide
and straight. In its natural condition with a narrow road, the southern
ravine is densely covered with vegetation. The large road in the northern
ravine, in contrast, obliterates the land form.
At a point where the ravines reach the plateau they continue as gentle
swales across the land in the east-west direction. Three swales traverse
the East Garrison and are separated by soft ridges.
Patterns of Construction
Created with military utility and efficiency in mind, the construction grid
consists of a central parade ground that is designed to accommodate a
regular spread of tents on a large rectangle. The parade ground follows
the direction of the escarpment and its axis runs diagonally to the swales.
As a result the large rectangle stretches over both swales and ridges
making the roads that line the parade ground rise and fall with the land.
Nine mess halls line the rectangle on the escarpment side and eleven
latrines line the opposite side. Except for four large sheds in the northern
section of the parade ground the large rectangle is free of buildings
though one half is paved. The parade ground is met by a perpendicular
road through the former prisoner of war camp.
An even larger parade ground is set off at a short distance to the west
of the central parade ground. Although the two rectangles do not meet,
they are connected on the site by a knoll, skirted by a grove of large oaks
on its eastern side, and a swale. A chapel sitting on top of the knoll
overlooks both parade grounds.
. ► •♦
< Michael Olio.
There are nine mess halls, U-shaped, single story, painted concrete buildings with clay tile roofs.
The interiors have exposed wood trusses; and there are large stone fireplaces in each leg of the "U."
The eleven latrine buildings are rectangular shaped, single story, painted concrete buildings
with clay tile roofs. Interiors have a water heating system located in the center, dressing areas
on each side and toilet rooms on the ends.
There is a large, wood framed theater on concrete foundations on sloped site.
The exterior and interior are in significant state of disrepair.
The chapel is a rectangular wood frame building with a steeple over the entry door. It is built
on a concrete foundation with wood frame walls and covered with horizontal painted siding
on its exterior.
There are eight single story rectangular warehouse buildings with concrete walls and clay tile
roofs. These buildings housed prisoners of war.
The Rod and Gun Club is a single story rectangular building with concrete walls, and clay tile
roof. Along its south side, the building has a covered porch supported by wood posts on concrete
The four pre— engineered steel buildings at the northern end of the parade ground have
structural steel frames, metal siding and roofing, floor slabs on grade and no interior finishes
Also on the site are a number of wooden buildings of different sizes. Some of these have
reuse potential. At the time of this study no detailed report on the structural condition of
any of these buildings was available.
There are also stone walls, concrete foundations and wooden exercise and training structures
located throughout the site.
A potentially acitve seismic fault line (Fort Ord Reuse Plan, Draft EIR,
Figure 4.6-3) at the edge of the East Garrison emphasizes the importance of
further study of the structural condition of existing buildings. Understanding
the implications of the potential occurrence of severe ground shaking hazards
is vital to any site use considerations, including the construction of new
buildings and the feasibility of reusing existing structures.
At the time of this study, a number of groups had expressed interest in
developing the East Garrison site for their programs. Representatives
from each of these stakeholder groups participated in the process. The
user groups prepared brief programs and space requirements for the
design teams.These are summarized below. Other ideas for site use had
been mentioned by the County in its mixed use development plan for
the site. These ideas included a spa/hotel, research and development
space and light industry.There were not, however, specific programs for
any of these uses.
Of approximately 750 acres included in the East Garrison polygon, only
200 are developable. The rest has been set aside as part of the Bureau of
Land Management's Habitat Management area. Most of the stakeholder
programs assumed that all 200 acres would be used.
Arts Habitat is an umbrella group representing visual, performing and
literary artists and arts organizations. The group proposed facilities for
a self sustaining mixed use arts center providing space for the creation,
rehearsal, production, presentation, storage, administration, and teaching
of the arts as well as housing for the artists. Arts Habitat's proposal
framed its program requirements in the context of the reuse of existing
buildings around the central parade ground.
Monterey Equestrian Group
A group of horseback riding enthusiasts proposed an Equestrian Center,
a multi-use facility that would accommodate a variety of competitive
and non competitive events. Facilities would include indoor and outdoor
arenas, training barns, training facilities, a clubhouse with restaurant,
offices, retail. There would also be picnic and camping areas and a
livestock exhibition area.
The Akicita Luta Intertribal Society
Akicita Luta Intertribal Society, comprised of Native Americans living
in the Monterey Bay area, proposed a Native American cultural and
educational preserve of modest size. This would be a place where native
American citizens could gather to celebrate their culture and educate
children in traditional values. Activities would include youth instruction,
pow wows, outdoor cooking and lodge ceremonies.
Monterey County Sheriff's Office/MPC
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office through Monterey Peninsula
Community College (MPC) proposed using the East Garrison site as a
regional law enforcement training center. The center would meet the
needs of all public safety agencies, both law enforcement and fire science.
The East Garrison site and existing buildings could provide locations for
scenario training, city street defensive driving, corrections training, etc.
New classrooms and administrative space would be required.
Monterey County officials proposed an economic development
component on this site which included an office park, research and
development uses, light industrial use, and a spa hotel.
finding - and forging - relationships.
people and things
people and buildings
buildings and buildings
buildings and landscape
landscape and resources
landscape and institutions
institutions and process
process and people
people and community
"design is a strategic national resource
and a catalyst for change."
Design is cyclical. To find and forge relationships it must continue to
uncover possibilities, then test them: fuse some, discard some, try again,
assemble a network of relationships-the parts of which will take on a life
of their own.
The design process can be used to bring people to understand each
other's intentions and suppositions, and the resources (mental and
otherwise) that can be brought to the effort.
Design is a way of imagining what the life of a place might
become; how the relationships considered may affect the people
and institutions who will use it, how the processes brought about
by specific uses may influence their common place. Design does
I so by projecting and assessing possibilities, and by registering
the transformation in existing conditions that new arrangements
would bring about.
Design can be a way of imagining how to steward the qualities
that a community cares for; it can be a means for bringing people
to care. By showing possibilities for reuse, for reinvestment in the
surroundings, for modes of transformation that retain a consistency
in character and yet bring renewed vitality to the place, design can
suggest how various segments of a community can achieve mutual
The cycles of design project possible futures in ways that can
be examined and imagined, they unfold new relationships and
open further possibilities. These forays into the future can help
citizens, the ultimate stewards of our common environment,
to conceive the public interest.
Design, if it engages public process, can be a means for articulating
community vision. It can bring people to know about change
and to care for its impact on the commonwealth of public places.
Coordinator, Mayors Institute: West
PROCESS TO DATE
Mayors Institute on City Design: West
November 16, 1996
At the 1996 Mayors Institute on City Design: West, Supervisor Edith
Johnsen of Monterey County, also a member of the Fort Ord Reuse
Authority, presented the East Garrison as a case study to a panel consisting
of elected officials, mayors, and multidisciplinary resource faculty. Supervisor
Johnsen explained the county's mixed use development proposal for the site.
In the discussion of the case, the panel was impressed by the importance of
understanding the character of the site and its cultural history. The panel
recommended that county planners explore these conditions as thoroughly
as possible before approving any of the stakeholder proposals. The panel also
suggested identifying common activities among the different proposed uses.
It might be possible, in fact, for parts of the stakeholder programs to share
the same place, leading to a more compact development of the land as well
as to the development of an East Garrison community. The discussion
emphasized the importance of a shared vision among all parties involved in
the East Garrison planning process.
Photo by Ron Thomas
Community Goal Setting
January 31, 1997
The workshop began with a guided site walk both to help community participants
become familiar with the site and to help relate the language of urban design
to the specific issues of the East Garrison. The walk included stops at seven locations
at the East Garrison where participants looked at natural and built forms,
discussed scale, spatial configuration, and the character of the landscape, and made
personal observations. Participants used a specially prepared site walk notebook
which presented site design issues and questions at each stop. Through the site walk,
participants directly experienced the East Garrison's landscape.
After the site walks, in the East Garrison's Battle Simulation Building, participants
identified those characteristics of the East Garrison they would most want to see at
the site in the future. This vision activity, guided by facilitator Ron Thomas, used a
process of individual brainstorming, group sharing at discussion tables, and recording
of short statements of key ideas on note cards. These were collected in a sequence
process, paired, clustered, and then named, eventually resulting in a matrix of
Design Charrette Workshop
January 31 through February 2, 1997
Working with program materials prepared by the stakeholder groups and
with the ideas generated in the goal setting workshop, three UC Berkeley
design teams began to look at site development. The teams agreed to
focus on different design scenarios which reflected increased intensity of
development. The first scenario accommodated many components of the
stakeholders' proposals. The second scenario envisioned a campus for
research and development activities in addition to the stakeholder
proposals. For the third scenario, the design team integrated a hill town
of 3500 residents with stakeholder programs.
The teams worked from Friday night through midday Sunday developing
their individual scenarios. Working together in the same workshop space
made possible open communication among the teams. During the Saturday
session, county staff provided support which included a briefing on the
identified planning issues and the ongoing county planning process.
Stakeholders were invited to visit the charrette at the end of the day
Saturday and participated in nearly two hours of intense discussion with
members of the design teams.
The Sunday morning session began with short overview presentations by
each of the three team leaders. Discussion and dialogue followed once all
presentations had been made. The discussions provided the design teams
with insights about refining the schemes and provided stakeholders with an
understanding of how program goals would fit in an integrated multi-use
design that respected the landscape and history of the East Garrison.
February 3 through 21, 1997
Berkeley and Monterey Bay Area
Photo by Ron Thomas
At the conclusion of the weekend Design Charrette, the design teams
returned to Berkeley and developed the scenarios further. Additional
drawings and sketches were made to illustrate the main ideas of each of
the schemes. A narrative was written that described overall goals as
well as the intention and conclusions from each scheme. The schemes
were photographed and printed for review.
Stakeholders met in two groups to review and comment on the schemes.
Both groups were comprised of public officials and representatives from
each of the interest groups. In the discussion during these meetings,
people, whose imaginations had been triggered by the design process,
began to see themselves actively using the site and meeting with each
other. Both groups presented their observations at a public session
at the beginning of the review by the national panel.
National Panel Analysis
February 21 through 23, 1997
Frances Halsband, Hugh Hardy and Robert Harris, a panel of designers
nationally known for their understanding of urban design issues, had
reviewed the Mayors Institute briefing papers, information from the
community goal setting session, and the design schemes and narratives
before arriving at the East Garrison. They began, as had other participants
in the design and planning process, by walking and observing the site
itself They also heard presentations from the stakeholders, now called the
East Garrison Participants Group. The panel then spent the weekend
developing together a set of design principles and recommendations to
move toward a master plan for the reuse of the East Garrison.
On February 23, the panel presented its work at a community meeting
attended by public officials, representatives of public agencies and
members of stakeholder groups. The panel articulated a shared vision,
suggested next steps, and proposed ways to focus on the actions
required for successful East Garrison planning in the future.
Photo by Ron Thomas
Towards a Master Plan for the East Garrison
April 1997 to present
Berkeley and Salinas
In May of 1997, the UC Berkeley East Garrison design team reported on the outcome of the design
workshops to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and at a separate meeting to the Ford Ord
Reuse Authority. The two presentations emphasized how design had been used to understand the im
plications of decision-making. Many detailed drawings and photographs explained the unique
composition of a military geometry laid upon a special landscape. Clearly, the site had inspired the
design teams in the creation of places for new uses and the continuation of old ones. The response to
the presentations was very positive, and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution
authorizing the Environmental Simulation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley to prepare
visual material to aid staff in the development of a master plan for the East Garrison.
Accommodating the Proposed Equestrian Center
Possible Location for a Hotel and Spa
After community participants had had a chance to experience the site
through the guided site walk, they met as a group to identify goals
for the East Garrison. In a process guided by facilitator Ron Thomas,
people worked separately, then in pairs to clarify and prioritize their
vision for the East Garrison's future. Concluding the goal setting session
facilitator Ron Thomas helped the group categorize the identified
goals. The resulting community goals matrix documents this part of
ground vs. "fort"
Multiple Use I Compatible Use
Linked to educational
shuttles to reduce
Monterey Bay Area
focal point for
No Road Barriers
Town square that
unites use clusters
Overall ambiance of
Clear public &
nature of a village
No Free Lunch
"Ye shall not
-Gen. George Pat/on
Green Belt, Open
Integration of com-
pact living with
immediate access to
natural park system
Access for disabled
overall visit to
Memory of Place
Perimeter walking A compact village
trail to be used hill town focused
by residents on art & cultural
& workers activities
tion like "Cannery
Variety of scales of
Model of sustainable
no big box
Maintain the scale
of the landscape
No Disneyland or
community built on
Matrix b\ Ron Thomas
DESIGN CHARRETTE SCHEMES
All three proposals are informed by an understanding of the East
Garrison landscape. The proposals can be understood as alternatives
differing in the intensity of future uses. They might also be seen as
three phases in a continuum over time. Seen as a continuum
the first scheme accommodates activities associated with current
stakeholders, including a law enforcement training center, an arts
habitat, an equestrian facility, a Native American cultural center, a
youth campground, and a resort with overnight accommodations.
The second proposal, or second phase, adds a research and
development campus and some housing to the site, and a
third proposal adds further residential units creating a village
that gives the site the character of a compact hilltown.
The scheme accommodates only those activities discussed during the first
workshop with the current stakeholders. With the exception of the large
equestrian indoor arena, only very modest interventions to the site are
necessary to accommodate the various program requirements. Many parts
of the site would not be used intensively and would remain open. These
open spaces form a reserve for activities that might be added over time as
the East Garrison community grows. Thus this scheme should be seen as
the beginning of a process that builds on the existing structure without
eliminating opportunities for additional uses.
Native American Pow Wow on Promontory
GARRISON GRID youth museum
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History Review Tower
This scheme envisions a moderate investment in new construction
(about as much as is presently on the site) and the development of a
campus-like arrangement that would involve many groups sharing
in the use of the place.
There are three main organizing ideas for the plan:
• respect for the fundamental structure of the land;
• preservation of elements imposed on the land by military settlement;
• reuse of buildings and open spaces in a manner that is best suited to
their intrinsic character.
In addition, it was recognized that merging and overlapping of uses can
promote efficient use of resources and provide a basis for the synergistic
community that was described in the first workshop sessions. Uses which
are entirely single purpose and demand intensely specialized structures
of sequestered activities should be at the periphery, rather than the center
of the site.
East Garrison History Museum and Markers Commemorating Military Use of the Site.
Overall Plan (Second Phase)
Mess Halls Refurbished for Use by Artists
Scheme C envisions creating a compact "hill town" using the remnants
of the East Garrison as the structure for a complete community which
approaches the intensity of use of the original garrison. The concept
posits that it will be necessary to maximize development income in
order to fund the infrastructure and civic improvements desired by the
users. It assumes that a critical mass of approximately 3500 residents is
necessary to support a full service community. This scheme takes
advantage of the fact that the planning principles for the original garrison
create a beautifully situated, spatially rich and pedestrian scale community
similar to other American towns built on military planning principles
such as Savannah and Charleston.
Proposed Reuse and Addition to Warehouse Buildings
^j i-J Lj i
EQUESTRIAN CLUBHOUSE/HOTEL -
PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING CENTER
Town Entry Area
ANALYSIS BY THE
In 1952 the renowned American landscape
architect Laurie Olin was stationed at
Fort Ord. His sketchbook drawings impressively
illustrate Fort Ord's regional landscape and the
soldier's daily life at the Garrison.
Sketch by Laurie Olin
Introduction of the National Panel
An important part of any National Endowment for the Arts Design
Initiative project is its review and critique by outstanding professionals
in the field. These reviews can bring fresh insights to design projects,
open new possibilities for study, and confirm the significance of the
focus of the work.The Mayors Institute invited Frances Halsband,
Hugh Hardy, and Robert Harris to serve on the national panel for
the East Garrison.
The three members of this panel bring to this review an extraordinary
understanding of urban design issues as well as extensive experience in
making thoughtful and successful urban places.
Frances Halsband, whose firm Kliment and Halsband received the
1997 American Institute of Architects Firm of the Year Award, has
thought carefully about making new places within historic fabrics;
and she has designed sensitively many such projects. Halsband has
served on the New York City Landmarks Commission and was
Dean of Pratt Institute of Design.
Hugh Hardy's firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates is one of the
premier design firms in the United States. He has designed cultural
facilities throughout the country including the Downtown Public
Library in Los Angeles, one of the truly extraordinary buildings in the
United States. Hardy has been a member of the President's Council
for the Arts.
Robert Harris is co-chair of the Downtown Strategic Planning
Committee for the City of Los Angeles. He is the former Dean of the
School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Southern
California. Harris was a resource person at the November 1 996
Mayors Institute where the East Garrison case study was presented.
Panel members explored the site, met with stakeholders, reviewed
material prepared for the Mayors Institute and by the design teams,
and then worked together to develop further the approach to East
Garrison design and planning begun at the Mayors Institute.
The following passages reflect the National F
presentation to the community on February 23, l Qil ~
You know this place better than we do.
You have a longer stake in it.
But we care about it deeply too,
and from a national perspective we think
we have something to offer.
We enormously appreciate the opportunity to work with you. I would
briefly characterize where we are currently as having a kind of flowering
of possibilities through all the explorations, through all the friction of
groups trying to think about how they could co-exist in this place, and
then through the work of this design team. Our National Panel has come
not to stop that flowering of possibilities but just to take a break for a
moment and to distill the principles and ambitions that we might all hold
together before we then come back to grow the possibilities again. So
we're not here to conclude anything. We are pausing for a moment to see
some principles and extraordinary possibilities that are perhaps pervasive,
and help you get back then to the business of expanding for yourselves
how you can take advantage of the site.
We do believe that you have made enormous progress towards
accommodating the future in this currendy somewhat leftover but
formerly very vital place. Our suggestion to you about the site is as
citizens as well as professionals: give priority to three values:
This is a place of national significance. The nation should expect us to be
good stewards of this place for veterans — and there must have been
hundreds of thousands of veterans. We are interested to know about
those numbers since we have already heard earlier this morning of
generations, fathers and sons, families, associated with this place. That
has enormous significance and meaning for us as a nation as well as for
individual veterans, as well as for future generations. As they come
here, they ought to be able to learn something about how this country
mobilized itself in relation to great purpose.
The site of the East Garrison is especially significant in this way because
of its early origins, because of its distinctness and its setting, and because
of the way, so many of those who served and who were trained at Fort
Ord were specifically trained and housed and had a significant experience
at the East Garrison.
This is not just one more beautiful landscape of which there are an
enormous number in California. It is not only a beautiful landscape, but it
is also an historic landscape. What makes this so special? What gives you
the great opportunity of a future of meaning and significance, a kind of
sustainable future over time, is the cultural history of what this place was
about, how it was used, what it means. We encourage you not to lose sight
of your great inheritance in the midst of immediate opportunity, an
immediate ambition. We think this special heritage can be the key for
providing the funding, the attractiveness, the excitement throughout time
in this place.
This is a landscape of uncommon quality. As we re-occupy the site, we
think that we'd be foolish to do anything that might diminish the most
fundamental qualities and characteristics of the landscape itself. We think
that if you will do these two things, holding on to the significant national
meaning of this place and protecting and enhancing the fundamental
qualities of this landscape, you can sustain the quality and value of this
place over time. What it means to you in terms of opportunity now, it can
continue to mean to future generations in terms of opportunity because
the most precious heritage of meaning and place will be preserved and
perpetuated. That's our responsibility, and we believe it is a responsibility
that can be fully held in relation to the third value.
Reoccupy this place with dignity, with a sense of the past, but with
enthusiasm and exuberance. From our studies, we believe that it is amply
possible to do all of these: to hold on to meaning, to hold on to landscape,
and to have a kind of exuberant future of new ambitions and new
development and new opportunities. We're confident that those interests
can be accommodated and as was described a moment ago, if none of
the three schemes yet fully does that, it's just a matter of working hard
together in some ways to get that done. We are confident that this can
be done, and much more. Hold on to meaning and significance, and thus
accommodate in a rather magnificent way, both our past and our future.
Reoccupy this place with dignity,
with a sense of the past, but with enthusiasm
Top: courtesy of California State
Bottom: sketch hy Ijiurie Olin
Photo by huca Vignelli
You are generous to let us come and
speak as if we were knowledgeable
about Fort Ord.
I suppose this is fair, because in the future many people
will arrive here from all over the country for all kinds of
reasons, and although some may not be knowledgeable
about the history of this place, you will want them to
come, discover, and be educated.
Discovering Fort Ord's past is as much
a part of this as the opportunity it
represents for development.
A Public and a Private Place
This place is an extraordinary public legacy, but in a very real sense it has
also always been private because of its use as a military base. Down in the
Valley people know little about what has happened up here. This has
always been a separate, off-limits place. The Army's presence made this
distinction, and the land here is still not part of public consciousness,
except for those involved with training. This is a situation which will take
time to change. We've already found that it is hard for people to see what
actually exists here, not only just to get access and walk around, or to
recognize that this place can form part of their community, but actually to
understand what a rich resource it represents. Taken all together this is a
jigsaw puzzle, some of whose pieces are missing.
To begin with, it's an unusual landscape, the vast scale of it, with little
one-story buildings rattling off into the distant perspective. These little
buildings are far apart and built to be ephemeral. They were clearly an
expedient, not designed as monuments to perpetuate memory. A great
urgency of military training brought them into being. Many, of course,
have gone. When you see those remarkable photographs of 1940/41 you
discover how amazing tent cities were put in place as part of an inevitable
progress toward World War II. Much of that scene has now vanished.
we need to know much
more about the
history of this land and
how it once was used.
Mystery of Ephemera
A lot of the excitement of visiting the site stems from trying to figure out
what all these roads and structures are for. What could that have been?
Or what did they do there? Or, isn't that patch of weeds a building site?
What actually occurred over there? Inherent in all of this is the fact that
this place was designed to be ephemeral and is disappearing — every day
something else disappears, it's the nature of nature.
Importance of History
There needs to be more homework done about understanding what is
still here. It's not exactly archeology that is called for. We don't have to
go that far back. I know that there are studies already begun about which
buildings should be kept and which should be thrown away, but basically
that's at the level of a kind of code analysis. That's only the physical level
of their importance. But we need to know much more about the history
of this land and how it once was used. It's strange, isn't it, that all the
records aren't still housed here? It's odd how often our team asked
questions about places and events and how many times people scratched
their heads and said, "I don't really know." There are pieces missing. Do
you remember 2001, when the computer HAL loses his memory? That's
the saddest, most poignant part of the picture, in which the computer,
piece by piece, is losing its most important operational part, its memory.
There is a piece missing here, too, but that is not to say that it's necessary
to restore the past. No one wants to put all this back together to fight a
war. Rather, it needs to be better understood, because as this becomes a
more developed place, many people will come to rediscover their history.
This way its development will be far richer and will enjoy many more
possibilities for success than if it's thought of as just another piece of
California, just another place for a bunch of big retail boxes, or just the
right site for another series of highway access points.
Historic Structures Report
So we need to know more. We need to have a true historic-structures
report done. We need to know at every level, from everyone in the
community who's interested, about the history of this place. They all
need to be brought together to share every possibility for discovering
what is visible and buried here. It is necessary to inform our knowledge
about what these buildings are, what they meant, and even to under-
stand those buildings which have not survived.
Then there's the landscape. It is only in part made of built objects.
Therefore in many ways a typical historic-structures report won't be
good enough, because that would normally be all about buildings. An
East Garrison report also has to be about all that space in between the
buildings. In point of fact, the open space used for training was as
important as the structures. Now, only the people are missing. We can't
bring the people back, but we need to bring back the understanding of
these vast reaches, for they best define the history of this place. If the
landscape were now quickly filled with development, it would take a
LONG time for anyone to understand how this place was once used.
And so the openness and the giant scale inherent in this landscape
represent an extraordinary, rolling, natural phenomenon overlaid with
an autocratic, highly organized, militaristic form. From the air it all
appears very, very rigid. But as you know, it is in fact quite an
extraordinary, varied experience to walk around and try to figure
out what it all means. Only when you see those little pipes coming
up out of the weeds and imagine how they were used by people in
the tents do you begin to understand what the whole represents.
There are several forces which will inevitably change the landscape.
One of them is the need for transportation — not only transportation
around or through the site from one community to another, but all
the forces that make regional, contemporary transportation work. The
military brought people to this site in buses. In the future they will
come in a variety of other ways. The thought that people are going to
be able to come here only in their own private vehicles would lead to
paving the entire site. So the relation of the regional transportation
network to the site and its influence upon this place has got to be
carefully considered. Access, buses, bicycles, parking, all of those
things must find room.
we need to bring back
of these vast reaches, for
they best define the
history of this place.
We have grave concerns about this whole problem of access. We are
fascinated by the site's basic composition, because the parade ground
could be kept open as a place of assembly for temporary activities of all
kinds. Each community group has the need
for such activities, and there is a whole
laundry list of public events that might be
taking place. If that could be reinforced by
surrounding development, and if the ridge
line (which once held yet another set of
structures) could also form the basis of a
development plan, we suspect this could be
a way of thinking about the great legacy
this site represents.
Key Site Elements
Another major factor is the whole ecology of the place. Maybe having
buildings fall apart is important. Maybe there should be some place
where you see natural forces at work. Maybe the ecological lessons that
are here are of prime importance. Watching the Army rearrange the land-
scape down by the sea in the name of saving it is quite extraordinary. It is
startling to see how much land is being pushed around there in the belief
that its chemical composition is going to be better, while its botanical life
is being shattered. Clearly, one needs to study more about how to
approach ecology in the East Garrison.
Influence of Development
And then, finally, we must address how the forces of development are
going to influence this site. That is something that needs to be carefully
accommodated. If you took this old parade ground and superimposed it
on downtown Monterey you could see just how big it is. These city
blocks have buildings of a familiar density, and when seen in relation to
the East Garrison's dimensions are truly staggering. The relation of new
to old, issues of utility, infrastructure, and future distribution all need to
Everywhere you look you find little clues that provide a key to the proper
use of this place. The great parade ground has now been divided in half
— half paved, half green. That's not correct. Maybe we shouldn't build
there at all. But maybe we should re-establish this as a great green swath
in order to generate a basic plan approach. One could start with the idea
of these great, open dimensions as essential. It's also interesting, when
you look at old photographs, that the natural ridge forms a third grid, an
additional way to organize planning for the site. These old images are
fascinating. You can see some of the buildings that are missing. You can
get some sense of what each of these elements was for but maybe only
some of that is worth preserving. The ephemeral nature of this place can't
We are all worried a "prettification" will sweeten up the landscape.
Certainly that is a concern in the historic sector. At the same time, we
think there should be a historic district which is as direct and as arbitrary
as the military itself. We can't imagine that in the historic core one would
change elements to have "historic" street lanterns conjured up from some
developer paradise or attempt any prettification of these rather brutal
Balance of Practical and Cultural Concerns
It is wonderful to see this combination of nature and built form,
even with its many paradoxes. Perhaps this place should be continually
reassessed. There is a question about the future of the wooden buildings
versus the masonry buildings. They are all subject to contemporary code
requirements. It is amazing what is required these days to make a building
legal. There has to be a careful analysis so there is a balance between the
cultural importance of the structure and its physical condition. And,
of course, there are many sweeping views, because this place isn't flat.
Although there's a certain arbitrariness about the siting of these structures,
every now and then one does seem to responded in a knowledgeable way
to solar orientation.
Continue Ephemeral Nature of Buildings
The juxtaposition between the wonderfully husbanded landscape you see
in the Valley with the abandoned nature up on the escarpment is obviously
going to change with time as development takes place. But should it all
change? Should every segment of this site be made into a well-cared-for
landscape? Isn't it interesting to see how nature has claimed these roads
and made them so romantic, and how a line that appears straight and true
on an engineer's diagram actually goes up and down? Maybe temporary
structures should be part of what happens here. But perhaps celebrations
or fairs of all kinds, whether they are agricultural or crafts or what have
you, could be here. Maybe we should not be thinking just about how to
preserve and build permanent structures. Maybe temporary structures,
things that come and go, are also inherent to this place.
I should just complete the
picture by adding in the people
and the activities.
History is not simply figuring out
what color the buildings used to be.
In fact, there seem to be three principles that come from the history of this
site and guide us in finding what are the compatible uses.
O There has always been a public component to those uses. This site is
just too big, it's just too important to turn it into a lot of little private
Q There has always been a temporary and transitory quality to
those uses and curiously the uses that are now proposed have that
characteristic as well.
Q Last and maybe in some ways most important — the site has
always been characterized by large numbers of people accommodated
in vast landscapes in very tiny buildings. So unlike almost any
other site you can think of where large numbers of people translate
into gigantic buildings, and many of them, here it's really people
accommodated in a landscape and the buildings are almost peripheral.
Use and Activities
The five uses that we're presented with fit all of these principles. The
public safety officers already on the site are using it for training exercises.
What they are doing is of course the same thing the Army was doing in
a bigger way which was preparing soldiers, training them. These people
in uniform are really part of our community and are really interacting
with all of us simultaneously.
Overlap of Proposed Uses
Sketch by Laurie Olin
The artists describe their use as communal, not as individuals hiding
away in studios and garrets. What they said they wanted were community
spaces, community studios where people could work together, where
organizations could hold seminars and conferences, could sponsor
parades and community events. We have sketches drawn by an artist who
was here as a soldier. The equestrian events were also described to us as
gatherings. Many, many people, many, many horses, maybe 800 horses for
a competition or an event which might take place outside or inside. The
Youth Camp is, of course, another example of people coming together
to use a landscape-in that case a lot of little people. And the Native
Americans describe this place not only as a place of meditation but also
as a gathering space for pow-wows, for people coming together. There
are many other training possibilities. Others besides artists might work
here. There might be museums, museums of history. You might not have
trails only for horses - what about people trails, jogging, bicycle trails,
promenades on the cliffs?
And maybe all of these things coming together will eventually create another place:
The diagrammatic plans for each of the user groups show there is one
very intense area of overlap, one area that all the groups include in their
program for site use. This is the area in between the two parade grounds.
This overlap is the generating place where everybody gets together. This
is where the indoor spaces, the indoor classrooms, offices and so on are
gathered. The vast outdoor spaces used by each group spread out from
maybe all of these
things coming together
will eventually create
Diagrams from the earlier schemes suggest other alternatives:
Another way of looking at it is that there are these two big green open
spaces and the original buildings which form an historic area. It is also a
place where buildings already exist so if you want to get going fast and
you need a place where you can turn on water and turn on the lights,
those places are already here. In the future, development should respect in
some way, those existing buildings. The area along the current access road
is a future expansion area and needs to be studied.
We looked at how this might be phased. We think that the way to begin
is in this very intense area where there already are a couple of buildings
and where all of the groups uses overlap. Everybody then gets a stake in
the center. It looks almost like a town. The entry to the East Garrison, at
the very beginning, is a front door on the highway at the start of the arts
community with the start of the public safety officers training places from
which they go forth to the green spaces.
Overall Phasing of Development
Possible Phases of Development
The church at the top of the hill was the first gathering place for people.
Or indeed the very first thing created here that might be some place that
commemorates history. This is expressed in different ways in some of the
earlier schemes that we saw, for example, one of the mess halls became an
interpretive center. This is where the Fort Ord Alumni Association might
have its headquarters and visitors might pick up a tour map and then
disappear into those 44 square miles of landscape for the rest of the day.
A second phase probably expands to completely encompass the first green
space. We saw some examples of the town square developed right at the
entrance. If the equestrians really get going there could be a great club
house there. Maybe there could be a coffee shop or a restaurant.
Some drawings shows the big green spaces being used temporarily for
parking, but already there is a sense that this is a gathering space with
activities surrounding it.
Some of the existing buildings might be filled with new life as things get
added on to the outsides of them. The interiors could be used in different
ways so they're not always a kind of lonely ghost town.
And then a final phase. There really still is not a way to preserve this
open space as a gathering space where you can imagine that once 8000
people lived in tents. Each one of those 8000 people was on their way to
battle in a very distant place, all of them gazed out at that very peaceful
valley. We need to preserve that view and still provide all of the activities
all the way around it.
At the maximum development of the site, the public safety officers would
still have training facilities in the center but they would start reaching out
and having other places that would be further away. Canine activities
might just be a little bit further out to the edge or there might be other
places far away from this site.
This overlap is generating
a place where everybody
Running along the center ridge line, there is a great place for a hotel or a
guest center eventually. This is high up so you're looking over the parade
ground and then over into the valley but it's still right in the center. And
then the village green, in the middle between the two big green spaces, is
where you can stand, see it all and still be surrounded by central activities.
It really does become a terrific place to live and work, and we're thinking
that you should keep the rest of it free from building.
And so last I just leave you with one more thought. I was never in the
Army so I was one of those people that always roamed around on the
edge of these military reservations and felt that mysterious strange things
were happening in those spaces. I think our task today is to take down
those boundaries, to take down those fences and somehow bring together
the communities, in this case the communities at the bottom of the hill,
with the spaces at the top.
East Garrison has the kind of quality as a place
of national meaning, as an extraordinary landscape
and as a place of opportunity . . .
There is a level of interest and a quality of leadership already existing
within this community that gives us the sense that we could rely on
more than magic, or at least something a bit more tangible than magic
to make East Garrison the kind of place we are talking about.
So we want to first encourage you to try to maintain the good progress and the collaborative
will that's brought you this far, and then as soon as possible, we suggest three initiatives for
Organize more formally for the common good of this place. We think that some kind of over-
arching organization, maybe a board of overseers, should become the steward of the place. It
is possible to organize in a way that allows each of the entities that wants to be present here
to maintain its own independence, its own initiative, to have it's own responsibility for its own
welfare. But there are a whole set of things that need to be done in common. Our impression
is that there is good leadership. We are impressed by the quality of care and interest that is
present. We also know that has a possibility of being transitory, that the best people move on
to other adventures, to other possibilities, that people come and go. The East Garrison needs
a continuing organization of stewards with a sense of vision and memory, and a similar set of
ambitions for the future, to maintain the forward progress over time as individuals have new
ideas and new interests and go off to work on other projects.
But meanwhile, there are some very specific tasks for the organization.
First, of course, is to represent all the interests for common effectiveness. There are
things that you need to join together to do which you can't do individually. You should
have a common voice, a common perspective, to impress upon those who may still have
more authority than you that you know what you're doing, and that you're wanting to do
it together, and that you know that what you are proposing will be good for everyone.
Second, there needs to be an organization whose task it is to sustain the fundamental
qualities and shared vision of the place. This is not a minor matter. It needs to be
constructed properly so that the vision can be continued.
Third, an organization is necessary to seek cooperation and funding for those things that
you absolutely require for infrastructure and for all matters related to the whole of East
Garrison, and to fight off other initiatives, to protect yourself against ideas that come
from afar. There are times when investors may come forward-and money always seems
welcome-but the investors may not be the right ones, and perhaps you ought to wait for
the next one or find others. An organization is required for all those things that you want
to do together that have to do with funding and action year by year by year into the
future. There is a need for a board to manage the land use and development issues which
are never going to be fully settled, not only not today, but not ever. The land use and
development matters have to do with the life of this place and with new ambitions which
will develop from time to time. There needs to be a cooperative and collaborative way to
sort matters out and to manage them over time.
And finally an organization is necessary to manage the events schedule. We've already
heard from you about fantastic exhibitions of all kinds, about equestrian events, about all
kinds of arts events, and about military reunions for alumni of 1942, '43, '44. All those
sorts of things will happen, which will be good for the economy of the adjacent cities,
essential for the life of this place, and deeply meaningful in those great greens. We think
you ought to protect the great greens for exuberant life, week by week by week, month,
by month, by month, not just now and again, but over time creating something which is
very active and very lively.
Initiate an historic site survey.
It's really a matter of coming together, of developing a consensus about what matters and
what doesn't, of learning how to reach consensus about the place-defining elements. Such
a study requires agreement about what is really crucial to you, what do you all love about
it, what do you remember about it, what about it is critical in national terms and in the
terms of individual veterans? Such a study is necessary to create a plan about where and
how to develop new construction. Indeed, where will you welcome new construction?
Where ought you to be exuberant about that, and where not? You need this study in order
to help people not to go down the wrong roads, for decisions about this place to be made
without strife, without its being full of red tape, so those who want to take action, and
have the means to take action, can know where they would be welcome and how they
could go forward in a rather unfettered and open way.
An historic survey is absolutely necessary for funding. At the moment that you come
forward for restoration planning or for restoration itself, or for adaptive re-use of the
existing buildings, you must have a plan so that you don't have preservation organizations
and national societies and others wondering about that and funding organizations
wondering about whether they should support you or not, or wondering whether they
are about to be in the midst of a great mess. So we think that the historic site survey is
essential, that you ought to try and get that underway as soon as possible.
Finally, continue the planning process.
All the parties and the national interests who are at the table, and all of those who are
currently here with a sense of national interest, ought to remain at the table in this
continued planning effort. The National Endowment for the Arts and the University
of California at Berkeley have been generous, and we think effective, but we think you
need to find the means to go beyond that, to move from pro bono services, from a kind
of volunteerism, from the sporadic character of that, from people operating in a way
without portfolio, to a more substantial dedicated and ultimately more effective
profesional set of relationships with those who you trust and in whom you have
confidence, but with real leadership, real professional services, in order to take you to
the next step.
There ought to be a schedule of how you expect to get from step to step. How to meet
funding cycles, how to meet grant cycles, how to get the approvals made, how to move
this thing forward so you can make progress so you can have a sense not entirely just of
closure, but of a timely meeting of the schedule that is required in order to realize your
ambitions. Such a schedule will avoid the impression that "here's another study, how long
is this going to go on", but will give you a real sense of how to do the planning, and how
to get it done, and how to get it done in a professional enough way that you can have a
sense of inclusiveness and a sense of completeness and thoroughness in the work that's to
Finally then, we think that the East Garrison has the kind of quality as a place of national
meaning, as an extraordinary landscape and as a place of opportunity for this region that
merits the great effort you have directed toward its reuse; and that merits, as well, the next
level of interest and effort to take you where you want to go.
TOWARDS A MASTER PLAN FOR THE
Making a Computer Model
Following the design charrettes and the national panel analysis,
discussions about the future of the East Garrison focused again on legal
and administrative issues related to the transfer from military to civilian
ownership. The question-how should the property be conveyed-had
become increasingly controversial. Two types of conveyances were
considered. The Monterey County Board of Supervisors proposed an
Economic Development Conveyance and had approved a draft mixed-use
plan that would bring this property under the jurisdiction of the county.
The county would lease or sell the land to various individuals or
organizations interested in developing pieces of the land consistent with
a mixed-use concept. A second type of conveyance would also bring the
land under the jurisdiction of the county, but the property would be trans-
ferred from the Army via the Department of Education directly to
Monterey Peninsula Community College. Under this conveyance, the
community college would establish a permanent police training facility.
The type of conveyance became a particularly sensitive issue. If conveyed
directly to the college, all future uses in addition to police training, would
have to be compatible with the law enforcement activities. If conveyed
under the Economic Development alternative, all police-related activities
would have to be compatible with a general mixed-use concept. Police
officers practicing helicopter landings, assault tactics, and defensive
driving would have to move to other locations.
Throughout the summer of 1997 the parties were deadlocked over the
nature of the conveyance. In October the Army requested clarification
and the Fort Ord Reuse Authority scheduled a hearing to act on the
Army's request. At a special meeting FORA members voted in favor
of the County's proposal for an Economic Development Conveyance,
thus paving the way for a planning process that would lead to preparation
of a master plan. To assist the county in the preparation of such a
plan, the Berkeley Environmental Simulation Laboratory produced a
three-dimensional computer model. Anticipating many of the issues
the county planners would address, this model was designed to show
the extent and character of new development on the site. The model
was made to be flexible, to show alternative developments, to test
compatibility, and, most importantly, to illustrate the phasing of
Making the East Garrison Computer Model
The model was produced from geodesic data supplied by the county.
A view of the "skeleton" that is at the base of the model is shown here.
Using photographic information from aerial photographs, a texture map
was created and stretched over the terrain. Thus the model displays
the contours of the land, the escarpment, the ravines, and the ridges
and swales. In addition, existing buildings and structures were added
into the model.
Fly Over the Central Parade Ground
A Fly Over the East Garrison
Through computer animations it is possible to "fly" over the rolling terrain
and view the military grid that was laid upon the land as well as see all
existing structures. All buildings were modeled three-dimensionally.
Detailed Studies of Future Developments
In areas of the model where future development was anticipated, a greater
modeling detail was employed. As the model is modified specific designs
can be inserted and viewed at eye-level. As an example, the site for a
possible hotel and spa is illustrated here. At this time no specific design
has been prepared, nor is there a developer who has proposed such a
structure, but the county is interested in exploring a spa hotel on this site.
Located at the end of the central ridge and near the edge of the
escarpment, a site has been designated for a hotel. The building shown
here would accommodate 150 rooms, all taking advantage of sweeping
views over the Salinas River Valley and towards the mountains beyond.
The volume of the structure has been placed upon the model and is
viewed from critical locations. The simulations, for example, from the
valley floor, can be used to articulate design guidelines, such as
appropriate building heights, setbacks from the escarpment, and massing
of the structure, that would guide the development of this particular site.
The model is flexible; alternative building configurations can be inserted
and viewed in the realistic context of the site.
Study of Future Development
Phasing of Future Activities
Development of the East Garrison will take place over time, thus phasing
of new activities will be important. Again the model can be used to plan
ahead and discuss the sequence of events that might take place as known
stakeholders start to inhabit the site and are joined by users yet unknown.
Shown here are the prefabricated structures at the entrance to the
central parade ground. A sequence of images illustrates events that
depict the existing buildings modified to accommodate artist workshops.
Then, the first in the row of mess halls is converted into the East
Garrison Museum and historic markers are placed in front of it to
commemorate soldiers in formation; thirdly, new structures are added to
house additional workshops where new businesses can be established.
As planning for the East Garrison proceeds, the model will be a tool to
review designs before decisions are made. The model will help to imagine
the future and will remind those who use the model of the goals stated at
the beginning of this work:
• to learn how we might shape the land in ways that would serve
the whole community,
• to find new democratic practices as an example for this region,
the state, and the nation,
• to discover how to share a stewardship with the land itself.
Phasing Future Activities
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Design explorations which included site walks, community workshops,
the development of schemes for the East Garrison's future, and
analysis by a panel of nationally known architects led to a set of
findings and recommendations for the East Garrison. These findings
address the special nature of the site, its regional and historic
context, as well as the interests of current stakeholders and
The East Garrison is a place of uncommon quality formed
by the relationship between the geometry of the garrison grid
and the landscape features of the site.
The uncommon quality of the site is central to understanding the
schemes developed by the University of California, Berkeley, design teams
and is the focus of the recommendations made by the national panel.
Future development of the site must keep the relationship of nature and
constructed geometry recognizable by preserving the site characteristics.
Natural site characteristics include land form and vegetation: swales,
recognizable ridges, ravines, the escarpment, oak groves and glades and
the landscape configurations they form. Site characteristics created by
military use include the layout of the garrison grid, existing buildings,
structures and other traces of past use.
Development and design of new buildings should preserve the somewhat
rough aesthetics of a military base. To beautify the buildings, structures
or fixtures of the site would be inappropriate and in contrast with its
Some areas are more suited than others for certain types of construction,
this needs further investigation. The main criteria of such an
investigation would be the scale and character of adjacent buildings
and structures, the overall fit with the site's character, and visibility from
the valley floor.
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The western and central parade grounds are key to understanding the
historic meaning of the site. Although there are many ways to allow for
historic interpretation of the site's historical form-and the three schemes
offer three different suggestions-the geometry of the parade grounds
must remain an understandable part of the site's development.
All workshop design explorations gave particular attention to the area
between the two parade grounds. Here the particular land form and an
existing oak grove together form a place of relative small scale and
intimate character. Several of the proposed programs could overlap in this
location and provide an opportunity to develop, over time, a community
meeting place. The existing site should be protected until final plans are
made for this area.
In general any new development should fit into the existing spatial units
formed by the elements of landform and vegetation discussed earlier. The
northwestern swale is such a spatial unit. It is that portion of the site that
would most readily accommodate buildings of relatively large floorplate
size because of its low visibility from the floor of the Salinas River Valley
and its relative remoteness from other (historic) parts of the East
The straight lineup of structures (which can be seen in the 1941 aerial
photo on p. 10) along the straight line of the central ridge is a key site
element that should be incorporated into future site development. It is
along this ridge that new development should be concentrated.
The swath of land along the escarpment is a major asset to the site and
should be protected. It should remain open to the public and made
accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and possibly equestrians.
As part of Fort Ord, the East Garrison is a place of national historic significance.
The Fort's presence played an important role in the Monterey region and the
East Garrison has personal meaning to tens of thousands of veterans.
Additional research is needed to learn about the history of the East
Garrison itself. Some of the important questions include who was
responsible for siting it, how was it originally planned and what
determined its layout. What were the specific uses of individual
buildings, or the two large tent areas? Who were the soldiers who
served here and what were their stories?
This research might redefine the boundary of the historic district. It will
also help to determine the general approach to historic preservation of
existing buildings and structures, and their particular spatial relationship
to one another as well as to the parade grounds.
The current effort to establish an alumni group of veterans and others
associated with Fort Ord suggests that a military museum or other public
interpretive information might appropriately be located at the East
It is critical to establish an organization to support the East Garrison itself,
to act as steward for this very special place, and nurture a vision of future
An umbrella group, charged with the stewardship of the East Garrison,
could facilitate the ongoing exchange of ideas and concerns among
current and future stakeholders. This organization would be composed of
the East Garrison stakeholders, who would also represent their interests
in the planning process.
Presently stakeholders, although working toward a shared vision, speak
primarily for the interests of the individual groups they represent.
However, other interests and investors will certainly enter the East
Garrison development process in the future. The County's support of
mixed uses for the site will require these groups to develop a plan for
the shared use of the site.
An umbrella group could provide a powerful formal voice both for the
East Garrison and for the stakeholders in the overall Fort Ord planning
process. The organization would be responsible for communicating the
vision for the East Garrison to various public agencies involved in the
Finally, this would be a group organized specifically to steward the land,
to maintain and preserve its special characteristics and assets, and to
guide the development process.
Phased development of the East Garrison will allow current stakeholders
and future generations to enjoy this site.
Projects can be developed incrementally as financial support becomes
available to program groups. Phased development is also more flexible:
changes in program needs and requirements can be addressed,
opportunities that become available can be explored.
Establish a continuous work relationship with a set of trusted professionals
who can provide reliable information and guidance in the future design and
Professionals can prepare necessary additional research and design
proposals. Further exploration of the East Garrison design schemes will
allow the community to visualize opportunities and consequences of reuse
proposals. Professionals provide necessary support for the planning process
required for the conveyance of the property. Pro bono efforts will always be
dependent on third party budgets.
Evaluate the economic viability of proposals for East Garrison use.
Thorough cost analysis for each proposed program is of great importance in
determining how to establish a first presence on the site for the respective
stakeholders. Each program must be able to maintain the property conveyed
to it or shared with others and it must be able to support its share of
The proposals made by each of the stakeholders represented a full
build-out of each program. Program development should be phased and a
sound economic base must be required at each stage as the groups work
toward the final plan.
Evaluate thoroughly all transportation issues involving the East Garrison,
particularly the proposed major road which will cross the site. Intervene as
necessary to support, move, or eliminate this road.
The California Department of Transportation has proposed this road
largely because of traffic generated outside of the East Garrison. Regional
transportation decisions should consider local impact for the East Garrison.
The current proposal reflects transportation needs unrelated to the East
Garrison itself. A major access road through the East Garrison suggests
a level of development on the site beyond that proposed by any of the
stakeholders, public agencies or design studies. Any necessary roads should
be designed to harmonize with the character of the site and preserve its
sense of remoteness.
Retest the idea of housing on the East Garrison site.
Housing is not permitted in unincorporated parts of the county and the
national panel did not recommend that housing be a major land use
component. However, two o\ the three design schemes showed residential
uses at the East Garrison in connection with full development of expanded
community activities and infrastructure on the site.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Samina Quraeshi Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts
Christine Saum Design and Leadership Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts
East Garrison Participants
Gloria C. Mattos-Hughes
Chair, Department of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley;
Coordinator, Mayors Institute on City Design: West
Monterey Equestrian Group
Monterey Equestrian Group
Office of Representative Farr
Monterey County Sheriffs Office
Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey County Sheriffs Office
Akicita Luta Intertribal Society
/ Fort Ord Reuse Authority
Supervisor, Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Mayor, City of Seaside; Chair, Fort Ord Reuse Authority
Council Member, City of Seaside; Member, Fort Ord Reuse Authority
Deputy County Administrative Officer, Monterey County
Director, Monterey County Planning and Budding Department
Monterey County Intergovernmental Affairs
Manager, Monterey County Planning Services; Member,
Fort Ord Reuse Authority
Other Workshop Attendees
Salvador F. Munoz
Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey Equestrian Group
Cultural Council for Monterey Co.
CA Lawyers for the Arts
Monterey Bay Youth Camp
Monterey Peninsula College
S. Munoz & Associates
KQED Radio & Coastal Weekley
Monterey County Sheriffs Office
Monterey County Parks
S. Munoz & Associates
Marina Planning Commission
California State Parks
Monterey County Parks
California State Parks
San Andreas Regional Center
Frances Halsband R.M. Kliment &f Frances Halsband Architects
Hugh Hardy Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, New York
Robert Harris Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Southern California
University of California, Berkeley
Design Team Faculty & Professionals
Donlyn Lyndon Chair, Department of Architecture
Harrison Fraker Dean, College of Environmental Design
Peter Bosselmann Professor, Departments of Architecture,
Landscape Architecture, City and Regional Planning
Lisa Findley Lecturer, Department of Architecture
Richard Shepard Architect, Quraeshi/Shepard Associates
Stephanie Bothwell Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture,
University of California, Berkeley
Design Team Members
Ashish Balla Design Team A
David Evans Design Team A
Pritti Gogoi Design Team A
Erin Miller Design Team A
Joe Anglim Design Team B
Taichi Goto Design Team B
Ellen Miramontes Design Team B
Skip Lowney Design Team C
Todd Lynch Design Team C
Fernando Marti Design Team C
Nam Son Ngo Design Team C
Environmental Simulation Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
Peter Bosselmann Director
William Kanemoto Laboratory Manager
Judith Stilgenbauer Research Assistant
Community Participation Facilitator
Mayors Institute on City Design: West / Consultant
Ron Thomas Community Design Exchange, Seattle now Sustainable Racine, Wisconsin
Mayors Institute on City Design: West / Staff
Thomas Kronemeyer Assistant Coordinator
Brian Laczko Assistant Coordinator
Josh Kirschenbaum Institute of Urban and Regional Development,
University of California, Berkeley
Nora Watanabe Center for Environmental Design Research, UC Berkeley
Annette Quinn Center for Environmental Design Research
Kimberley Allen Center for Environmental Design Research
Report Prepared by Emily Marthinsen and Thomas Kronemeyer
Enhancement of Charrette Drawings and Illustrations by Joe Anglim
Graphic Design by Tenazas Design, San Francisco
What makes this so special? What gives you the
great opportunity of a future of meaning and
significance, a kind of sustainable future over
time, is the cultural history of what this place
was about, how it was used, what it means
To freshly reoccupy this place, with dignity,
with a sense of the past, but with enthusiasms
■ r *